Archive for the ‘DesignAssignments’ Category


Go to a happier place! (Write-up and Tutorial)

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Go to a happier place!

Design Assignment 625: Go to a happier place!

Ever wanted to be somewhere else? Take a photo of yourself in your current location, crop your body out of the photo and paste on an image where you would prefer to be. Put together the two photos for a before and after effect!

For this assignment, which I created, I started off by daydreaming about being at the beach. This sparked my imagination, surprisingly enough. I decided I would have my sister take a picture of me sitting on the couch doing my DS106 homework. Then, I found a photo of a beach on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

a postc@rd from p@r@dise

I used my knowledge from an assignment I had previously done, “Support Creative Commons With a Poster.” I searched Flickr for beach photos under a Creative Commons License using the website Compfight (be sure to select the Creative Commons search option).

Screen Shot 2012-07-28 at 2.27.27 PM

I also learned how to give attribution to the source image from the “Support Creative Commons With a Poster” assignment.

Screen Shot 2012-07-28 at 2.27.09 PM

I used my favorite photo editing site, Aviary. I used the Image Editor. I started off by adding text to the bottom of the photo giving attribution to the source image. You can use the template below for attribution to flickr photos (the italics is where you should insert the specific information for the particular photo):

cc licensed (BY license) flickr photo by flickr username: link to photo on flickr

I cropped the original photo of myself on my Mac’s photo editing device (iPhoto) so I was just the focal point. I saved it to my desktop. On Aviary Image Editor, I chose “File” “Import Image” and imported the image. Make sure you select “layer” from the drop-down layer menu on the panel on the right.

Screen Shot 2012-07-28 at 3.06.45 PM

I chose the resize option and made the photo smaller.

Screen Shot 2012-07-28 at 2.54.56 PM

This is where it gets tricky. I chose the Magic Wand tool from the left side bar. I held the “Shift” key and edited out the remainder of the photo of myself (so my couch wouldn’t be in the background). I then “Cut” the selection.

Then I needed to edit out the stripes left over from the pillow on my couch. I chose the dropper tool to match with the sand. Then I chose the paint brush tool and painted over the stripes.

Screen Shot 2012-07-28 at 3.10.30 PM

On the right option panel, at the bottom, second from the left, there is a plain folder. I clicked that to group all my layers.

Then, I selected “File” “Save As” and saved the file as a .JPG to my desktop.

Screen Shot 2012-07-28 at 3.17.09 PM

I opened a new Aviary file (from scratch) and imported the original photo of me sitting on my couch to the canvas and resized it as I liked. Below, I imported the edited photo of me on the beach. I saved it to my Aviary account and uploaded to Flickr.

Hope you enjoy this assignment. Good luck!

Your Big Break

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

I created this assignment because I just got the idea for this assignment when I was sorting my CDs looking at how different all the album covers are and thought it would be a good idea for an assignment to create your own album cover, I felt like this would be a fun assignment to do because you could do anything you want with it its really up to you. So I hope you all enjoy creating your own.

Album cover

MOOCs a la Tiger Beat

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Time after time the road out of a blog funk is sitting down to make some silly ds106 art. So it was later this afternoon, when this tweet form Cathy Finn-Derecki set me in motion:

So challenged to put Sebastian Thrun on the cover of Tiger Beat, I got out the old Photoshop clone brush and went to work.

Now, one thing that gets me growling is when people send out a link via twitter with something like:

This would make a great #ds106 assignment

Which to me is a bit lame- if it would make a good assignment, then go ahead and make it so, damnit. Just tossing a link out there is not #4life to me.

So hence a new ds106 Design Assignment, On The Cover Of A Teen Mag

Take a popular figure from politics, education, that you would not expect to be there, on the cover of a teen fan magazine. Bonus points if the cover includes a heart throb of initials JB and a lot of pink color. Re-edit the text as well to blend them into the style of the magazine.

Now that I’m in motion, time to get some GIFfin going…

Zombies, Zombies…Everywhere!

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

One of the requirements for ds106 was to create a new assignment for the DS106 Assignment Repository. I’ve been thinking about the possibilities for the past 9 weeks, keeping in mind that I don’t want to closely duplicate an already existing assignment AND I must be able to do it myself. That was the real challenge…my mind envisions things that my talents fall short on bringing to fruition.

This morning, inspiration struck! Zombie mania is spreading like crazy. With shows like The Walking Dead gaining popularity and news stories of people attacking others in a zombie-like fashion, I thought “what would I look like as a zombie?”

My Photoshop skills are greatly lacking so I started looking for other ways to alter an image of myself and zombify it. After some quick internet researching I found there were many online options available for FREE! Halleluiah! I played around with a few finding the Zombify Yourself online app on the Zombieland website is my favorite. Here’s one possibility of what I might look like as a zombie:

Zombie Me

I was having so much fun I did another of Dave & I

Zombie Couple

See the assignment and other examples in the DS106 Design Assignment Repository: Zombify Yourself

I hope other ds106 participants have as much doing this as I did!



Design Assignment: Hark! A Tapestry!

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Tell a Tale on a Tapestry: Go to Bildwirkerey von Bayeuxbe at , where you will find the “Historic Tale Constrvction Cit”, a web-based app inspired by the Tapestry of Bayeux. Follow the directions to create your own tapestry, then be sure to share it with us!

I found the “Historic Tale Constrvtion Cit” at Bildwirkerey von Bayeux while doing some Tumblr surfing. It’s funny what you can find on the Internet when you’re not even trying.

The Cit you find at the site is actually a reproduction of a defunct web app created by two German students, Karnebogen and Jungbluth, using Flash. The app was apparently an early source on the Internet for memes.

The Cit was rebuilt in 2011 by Johannes Jander using HTML and Javascript. I dub him an Honorary D106 Internaut for his initiative in preserving a cool and unique piece of Internet history that otherwise might have passed some of us younger users by.

The Hardest 4 Icon Challenge Yet

Friday, July 13th, 2012

I’ve been following Jim Groom’s “Name that 80s movie” 4 icon challenge series, and while he promised that they would become more difficult, I think the many summers I spent glued to the TV watching HBO for hours on end gives me an unfair advantage (I totally nailed the Flash Gordon one). I thought I’d try to up the “name that obscure movie” difficulty level, and while it was entertaining for myself to put together the following 4 icon challenge (I learned how to make a parchment-like background in Adobe Illustrator), I’m not sure if I did actually come up with something that will stump anybody….at least not anyone who is halfway decent with Google searching. Think you can name the this movie?

I continue to fiddle with the 4 icon challenge concept, this time blending both icons and actual images, one of those images laying over another. It’s not that I think it adds to the piece any, I’m just having some fun as I mess around with trying to visually represent the major elements of the story.

If you haven’t read any of my previous posts about the 4 icon challenge, you can check out how visually summarizing a movie, book, or other story is both really easy using tech, and is a great way for students to summarize major story elements, while having a bit of fun.

image credits:

vitruvian man -
gold brick -
mask –
cup –

Greetings from the Overlook Hotel

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Inspired by the work of the Breakfast Club edition of ds106 on their design assignments today (more on that anon), I took a shot at the Postcards from Magical Places assignment—3 stars! I spent the afternoon showing them how to do one of these in Photoshop, and while I was showing them a few things I got the idea of a postcard from the Overlook Hotel, and while I didn’t have the time to do it during class, I promised myself I would write a postcard from Danny Torrance to Mr. Halloran. This was very fun!

Jaws Alternative Book Cover

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

I have a ton of awesome design work to show off from the Breakfast Club edition of ds106 (a.k.a the K12 edition :) ), but I want to take a quick moment and feature two alternative book cover assignments done by Anna. She had an idea for an alternative book cover for Peter Benchley’s Jaws, and frankly I think it is brilliant!

And as any gambler knows, keep going when you are on a roll, her next creation was a literal cover fro R.L Stine’s Goosebumps.

Brilliant! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What is immediately apparent to me is that they’re having fun doing it, and that’s a vision Tom Woodward has both articulated and embodied for years. What’s exciting to me is that ds106 has become a manifestation of that fun in my own teaching and learning like no other experience I’ve been part of before.  I’ll do a more comprehensive post about the awesome design work they churned out today, but for know enjoy the genius!

Not so 80s

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Noun Project credits:
Community by Mike Endale
Beach Ball by Tim Piper
Cap by Oliver Guin
Bicycle by Ugur Akdemir

Name that 80s movie #5

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Noun Project Credits:
Football designed by Saman Bemel-Benrud
Rocket designed by John O’Shea
Tree designed by Saman Bemel-Benrud
Palace designed by Okan Benn